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Oglala Sioux Tribe: Law and Order Code

Last amended: 1996; New Ordinances Received: 2002.

CHAPTER 27

ELECTION ORDINANCE



SECTION 1. DEFINITIONS - Unless clearly indicating otherwise the following words and phrases as used in this Ordinance shall mean the following:

a. Election District - any district or community, which is entitled to elect one or more representatives to the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council under Article III, Section 4 of the Constitution and By-laws of the Oglala Sioux Tribe of the Pine Ridge Reservation, or as it may be amended.

b. Tribe or Tribal - the Oglala Sioux Tribe of the Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota.

c. Council - the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council, which is the governing body on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

d. Committee - the Executive Committee of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

e. Board - the Election Board of the Oglala Sioux Tribe as created by this Ordinance.

f. Court - the Court of Election of Appeals of the Oglala Sioux Tribe as created by this Ordinance.

g. Constitution - the Constitution and By-laws of the Oglala Sioux Tribe of the Pine Ridge Reservation.

h. Member (s) - the duly enrolled member(s) of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

i. Representative(s) - the council persons of the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council, who are chosen by secret ballot, and who represent each recognized community or district of the Pine Ridge Reservation.

j. Voter(s) - those members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe who meet the requirements as set forth in Article VII, Section 1 of the Constitution and By-laws of the Oglala Sioux Tribe of the Pine Ridge Reservation.

k. Reservation - the Pine Ridge Reservation of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

1. Challenge - a duly notarized statement setting forth a challenge: to the right of any person to be listed as an eligible voter; or as to the authenticity of any signature upon a nominating petition.

m. Contest of Election - shall comply with Section 16. Review of this Election Ordinance.

n. Immediate Family Members - shall mean son, daughter, husband and wife, brothers, sisters, mother, father, aunt, uncle, grandmother, grandfather, step and half brothers and sisters, step ..mother and father, nephew, nieces, and cousins of the first degree.

SECTION 2. ELECTION BOARD. The Council shall appoint by vote of a majority of representatives present and voting, a Board to conduct the primary and general elections of the Tribe in accordance with the procedures set forth in this Ordinance. The Board shall be composed of three (3) eligible voters who are not currently representatives of the Council nor candidates for any elected office or current employees of the Tribe. The Board shall serve for a period of two (2) years from the date of its appointment, but shall be restricted as to the number of days for which its members will be compensated . There shall be two (2) alternate Board members appointed by the Council to fill such vacancies as may occur on the Board by death, resignation, or otherwise. However, the alternate Board members shall not be current representatives of the Council nor candidates for any elected office or current employees of the Tribe. Should there occur more vacancies on the Board than exist alternates to fill such vacancies, these vacancies shall be filled with qualified appointees by majority vote of the committee. Any member of the Board or alternate shall resign from their position if they become a candidate for any elected office. All actions of the Board must be in writing, and must contain the signatures of the entire Board either approving or disapproving of the action taken. All candidates for Election Board shall consent to criminal background checks. Any individual convicted of a felony and/or dishonest act shall be ineligible for such Election Board candidacy.

SECTION 3. COURT OF ELECTION APPEALS. The Council shall appoint by vote of a majority of representatives present and voting, a Court to hear all challenges and/or appeals to the eligibility of candidates and voters, and to the election process. The Court shall be composed of three (3) eligible voters who are not currently representatives of the Council, nor candidates for any elected office or current employees of the Tribe. The Court shall serve for a period of two (2) years from the date of its appointment, but shall be restricted as to the numbers of days for which the members will be compensated. There shall be two (2) alternate Court members appointed by the Council to fill such vacancies as may occur on the Court for whatever reason. The alternate Court member shall not be a current representative of the Council nor a Candidate for any elected office or current employee of the Tribe. Should there occur more vacancies on the Court than exist alternates to fill such vacancies, these vacancies shall be filled by qualified appointees by majority vote of the Committee. Any member of the Court or alternate shall resign from their position if they become a candidate for any elected office. All actions of the Court must be in writing and must contain the signatures of the entire Court either approving or disapproving of the action taken. All candidates for the Court of Election Appeals shall consent to criminal background checks . Any individual convicted of a felony and/or dishonest act shall be ineligible for such Court of Election Appeals candidacy.

SECTION 4. REMOVAL. An affidavit of prejudice or bias may be filed against any Election Board Judge or any member of the Court of Election Appeals in any challenge or contest of election filed before the Election Board or Court in any challenge or contest of election filed before the Election Board or Court of Election Appeals. Such affidavit of prejudice or bias shall be filed at least three (3) days before the hearing. The affidavit of prejudice or bias that the affidavit is made in good faith and not for the purpose of securing delay that the party making such affidavit has good reason to believe that the party cannot have a fair and impartial hearing before such Election Board Judge or such Court of Election Appeals Judge. It shall not be necessary to state the reason for such belief in the affidavit.

Upon the filing of such affidavit the Election Board Judge or the Court of Election Appeals Judge therein referred to shall be disqualified to act and shall proceed no further in said case and shall lose all jurisdiction therein.

SECTION 5. REAPPORTIONMENT. In accordance with the provisions of Article III, Section 4 of the Constitution, the Council is hereby authorized to conduct a population survey on a district basis to determine the number of representatives to which each district is currently entitled. The Council shall approve the population and the number of representatives for each district. Upon approval by the Council, such determination shall become final and shall fix the number of representatives on the Council to which each district is entitled in any election conducted thereafter, except as may be provided otherwise by the Council in accordance with Article III, Section 4 of the Constitution.

SECTION 6. ELIGIBLE CANDIDATES, VOTERS AND LIST THEREOF.

(A) All members of the Tribe (as defined in Article II of the Constitution, as amended), 18 years of age or older at the time of the primary or general election dates, who have resided on the Reservation for a period of one year immediately prior to the date of the primary election, shall have the right to vote. Each voter shall be required to vote in the election district in which his/her permanent residence is located, either in person or by absentee ballot in accordance with the provisions of Section 20 of this Ordinance.

(B) No person shall run for Tribal office who shall be less than 25 years of age on the date of the general election and who shall not be otherwise qualified to vote in said election. All candidates for district representative on the Council shall have physically resided on the Reservation for a period of one (1) year and in said district for at least one hundred and eighty (180) calendar days prior to the general election. Candidates for the office of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and 5th Member shall physically reside within the exterior boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation for a period of one year immediately preceding the primary election date .

(C) Not less than thirty (30) calendar days before the primary election, the Board shall compile a final and, as near as possible, complete list of eligible voters as received from each district and distribute the voters list for each precinct to the election judge appointed for the district wherein that precinct lies. The election judge shall immediately post copies of the precinct voter list at conspicuous public place(s) within the precinct or shall otherwise make the voters list available for public inspection within the precinct .

(D) Not less than twenty (20) calendar days before the primary election, any person whose name does not appear on the eligible voters list for his precinct may appear before the Board and petition to add his name to such list. The Board shall promptly rule on the petition and inform the petitioner of its decision.

(E) Any eligible voter may challenge by sworn notarized statement filed with the Board not more than ten (10) days after the posting of voters lists as provided in paragraph (c) of Section 5 herein the .right of any person to be listed as an eligible voter or to stand as a candidate for any Tribal office. In compiling the list of eligible voters, the Board shall strictly enforce Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution.

Any eligible voter whose name does not appear on the official voters list, may qualify to vote by signing a proper statement of eligibility, supported by the signatures of one qualified voter attesting to the facts set forth therein. The ballot of any person not on the official voters list shall be placed in a sealed envelope identifying it as such and identifying the number of the voter whose ballot is contained therein . Such votes shall remain segregated in order that any challenges to the eligibility of such voters may be dealt with and shall be opened and counted only after the eligibility of the voter has been determined and after the voters have, to the extent possible, been co-mingled so as to preserve the secrecy of the ballots .

(F) All candidates shall be required to present to the Board a tribal enrollment certificate signed by the director of the Oglala Sioux Tribal Census and Enrollment Department .

(G) Candidates for Tribal, District and Community offices or any other elective office on the reservation shall not have been convicted of a felony or any dishonest act in either federal, state or tribal court. Candidates for tribal offices shall consent to background cheek by the Oglala Sioux Public Safety Commission for any felony convictions if a candidacy is challenged by any eligible voter of the Tribe. Any candidate for tribal office who is convicted of distributing alcoholic beverages or any controlled drug or substance as listed in Chapter 8, Section 106.01 of the Oglala Sioux Tribal Code (to secure votes) shall forfeit his right to run for office or forfeit any office he has been elected to. Candidates for tribal offices shall be required to pay a filing fee of fifteen dollars ($15.00) which shall be used to pay the costs necessary to conduct a background investigation on the candidate.

(H) The name of any eligible candidate who dies prior to the primary election, shall have their name removed from consideration as a candidate for office. If the candidate dies prior to the general election the person(s) with the next highest vote shall have their name added to the ballot.

SECTION 7. NOMINATING PETITIONS.

(A) The names of candidates for the offices of President and Vice President shall be placed upon the Primary Election ballot by the Board upon submission of a nominating petition signed by one hundred and fifty (150) eligible voters at large, and must also contain certification signed by the candidate that he personally requested the nominating petition. The names of candidates for council representatives shall be placed on the Primary Election ballot by the Board upon submission by a candidate of a nominating petition signed by thirty (30) eligible voters from the candidate's respective district, and must also contain certification signed by the candidate that he personally requested a petition. Eligible voters may sign more than one candidates nominating petition. The fact that an eligible voter signs a candidate's nominating petition, does not require that voter to vote for the candidate whose nominating petition the voter signs. All candidates for tribal office must personally request nominating petitions and sign all releases and affidavits as requested by the Board. The names of candidates for the following additional tribal offices shall be placed upon the proper ballot upon submission of nominating petitions signed by the number of eligible voters as indicated below:

Secretary 75

Treasurer 75

Fifth Member 75

The names of candidates for the offices of Tribal Council, Secretary, Treasurer and Fifth Member shall be submitted to the Council by the Board upon the submission of a nominating petition signed by seventy five (75) eligible voters at large, which must also contain certification signed by the candidate that he personally requested the petition. All nominating petitions shall be personally requested and received by the petitioner.

(B) No candidate may file for more than one (1) constitutional office, which includes President, Vice President and Tribal Council Representatives.

(C) All nominating petitions must be filed with the Board no later than 5:00PM, (MST), on the 35th calendar day prior to the primary election date. No nominating petitions will be accepted thereafter.

(D) The Board will review and certify the validity of each nominating petition no later than twenty five (25) days prior to the primary election. Prior to or on the date of such certification any eligible voter may, by sworn notarized statement, challenge any such nominating petition either as to the authenticity of any signature thereon, or the eligibility of any voter listed therein, or of the candidate whose petition is submitted .

(E) Except for incumbent representatives of the Council and other elected Tribal officials, no tribal employee shall engage in partisan political activity during working hours.

(F) No employee of the Tribe shall use tribal vehicles, equipment or materials or incur any form of expense to the Tribe for political purposes . Employees of the Tribe who become candidates for tribal office shall be permitted to continue on their jobs, but shall be prohibited from campaigning during working hours. No candidate for elective office shall make any direct promise or statement to the effect that they will, if elected, serve for less than regularly scheduled salary for that elective office or that they will donate or spend a certain percentage of the regularly scheduled salary for any benefit of the voters . Employees of the Tribe who become candidates for tribal office, must take leave without pay if they wish to campaign for the tribal office during working hours. Employees of the Tribe who become candidates for tribal office, who campaign for office without first requesting to be placed on leave without pay status, shall forfeit the pay they would have earned for the period they should have been on leave without pay status.

SECTION 8. ELECTION DATES The primary election shall be held on the second Tuesday in February, 1996. The general election shall be held on the second Tuesday in March, 1996. Elections to the Tribal Council, after the 1996 election shall be called by the Tribal Council at least sixty (60) days prior to the expiration of office of its members .

SECTION 9. BALLOTS The Board shall prepare and supervise the printing and distribution of primary and general election ballots . A record shall be kept by the Board of the number of all such official ballots so printed and all official ballots shall be accounted for the Board in its report of the election results. The primary election ballot shall be in the form specified in Section 6 herein. Other matters to be voted upon in the primary or general election will be printed on separate ballots as the Council by resolution may direct. The general election ballot shall be in the form specified in Section 14 herein. The Board shall draw names by lot to determine position on the primary and general election ballot.

SECTION 10. POLLING PLACES The Board shall designate polling places within each election district on the Reservation, and at the direction of each district council shall appoint and supervise a judge and teller for each such polling place. Judges and tellers shall be eligible voters who are not members of the Council or candidates for any tribal office or immediate family members, as defined in Section 1 herein, of any candidate for any tribal office, that is listed on that district's primary or general election ballot. The Board shall post sample ballots at the Tribal office and at public places throughout the Reservation not less than five (5) calendar days prior to the dates set for the primary and general elections.

SECTION 11. BALLOT BOXES The Board shall ensure that ballot boxes are located at each polling place. Each ballot box shall be locked and sealed, and the Board shall establish appropriate safeguards to ensure control over an security for all ballot boxes. Immediately following the closing of the polls on primary and general election days, the judge and teller of each polling place shall: make an unofficial count of the ballots cast at such polling place; shall account for ballots entrusted to them; shall verify and sign the results of their ballot count; and shall then deliver personally all ballot boxes in their charge (with all ballots and unofficial results therein) to the Board. A tribal police officer shall accompany each judge in making such delivery. The Board chairman shall sign a receipt for such ballot boxes, and leave the receipt in the judge's possession.

SECTION 12. VOTING Voting shall be conducted by secret ballot. Polling places shall be open between 9:00 a.m., (MST) and 7:00 p.m., (MST) on the respective days designated by the Council for the primary and general elections . There shall be no electioneering within fifty (50) feet of the structure within which any polling place is located and any violation of this regulation shall constitute disorderly conduct. Any qualified voter may vote at any districts within the Reservation under the appropriate oath of eligibility, by challenge ballot. All challenge voters who vote in polling places other than their respective home districts shall be allowed to vote only for Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates .

SECTION 13. PRIMARY ELECTION RESULTS The entire Board shall count the ballots from each polling place and certify the results of the primary election . Each candidate may designate one individual observer of the Board's count on the ballots in his respective primary election race . The counting of all election results shall be open to the public .

SECTION 14. COMPOSITION OF GENERAL ELECTION BALLOT Promptly after certification of the results of the primary election, the Board shall prepare the general election ballots as follows:

(a) The names of the two (2) persons receiving the greatest number of votes for the office of President, and the names of the two (2) persons receiving the greatest number of votes for the office of Vice President shall be placed on the general election ballot for those respective offices, provided however, that any candidate receiving a majority of the primary election certified votes cast for either office shall be declared elected, and the Board shall certify his election.

(b) Candidates for Representative, who receive the greatest number of votes in the primary election, shall be placed on the general election ballot in a number equal to twice the number of representatives, which that election district is entitled to elect under the Constitution and applicable ordinances of the Tribe . If any candidate for representative shall receive the affirmative vote of a majority of the eligible persons voting in the primary election in his/her district, she/he shall be declared elected, the Board shall certify his/her election, and the number of candidates appearing on the general election ballot for representatives shall be made equal to twice the remaining number of persons which that district is entitled to elect to such office. If in any district, not more than twice the number of candidates for representative to which that district is entitled shall file valid nominating petitions for such office, there shall be no primary election for representative in that district, but the names of all persons filing valid nominating petitions for representative shall be placed by the Board on the general election ballot.

(c) Such other matters shall be placed on separate primary and general election ballots as the Council may direct.

SECTION 15. GENERAL ELECTION RESULTS The entire Board shall count the general election ballots for each candidate and certify the results of the general election. Each candidate may designate one individual as an observer of the Board's count of the ballots in his respective general election race. The candidates for President and Vice President receiving the greatest number of votes shall be declared elected, and the representatives receiving the greatest number of votes in their respective districts shall be declared elected from such districts in the number which such district is entitled to elect under the Constitution as then in effect, or as may have been amended, and applicable tribal ordinances.

SECTION 16. TIE VOTE In the case of a primary election tie in first or second place positions for the offices of President and Vice President, all candidates who are in such a tie shall have their names placed on the general election ballot.

In the case of a primary election tie for a district's only or final position for council representative, all candidates who are in such a tie, shall have their names placed on the general election ballot.

In the case of a tie for the President or Vice President positions in the general election, there shall be an automatic recount of the general election ballots by the Board. If a tie exists after the automatic recount, then the Board shall conduct another election for the position, which is tied, as soon as possible.

In the case of a tie in the general election for the only representative position a district might have, or for the final representative's position a district has, there shall be an automatic recount of the general election ballots conducted by the Board. If a tie exists after the automatic recount, then the Board shall conduct another election as soon as possible for the position which is tied.

SECTION 17. REVIEW

(A) A contest of election may be brought by filing with the Board a complaint duly notarized under oath, setting forth a concise statement of the facts on which the contest is based. No complaint shall be considered unless it is filed within three (3) working days after certification of the election results by the Board. The Board shall consider each contest and report its actions and recommendations to the Court, not later than the Monday following the filing of the complaint.

(B) The Court shall render its decision on the election contest within five (5) calendar days after the Board has submitted its report and recommendation. The Court shall also have jurisdiction of any appeals from any action of the Board filed within three (3) calendar days from the day on which the action complained of was taken and shall act on each such appeal promptly. The Court has the authority to certify a candidate for office, when the candidate appeals a certification issue to the Court. The decision of the Court shall be final and binding upon all parties.

(C) In any proceeding before the Court under this Ordinance the Court may require witnesses to give their statements under oath. Any person making a false statement under oath to the Court shall be guilty of perjury as defined in Section 94 of the revised code of the tribe .

(D) A Candidate's name shall be removed from the ballot if he is convicted of perjury.

SECTION 18. MISCELLANEOUS The Election Board shall be compensated at the rate of seventy-five dollars ($75.00) per day, for the days worked. A working schedule and budget shall be prepared by the Board and approved by the Oglala Sioux tribe's Finance Committee and the Committee.

SECTION 19. WRITE-IN VOTES AND SPOILED BALLOTS Write-in votes are prohibited and shall not be counted with regard to the candidate for which the write-in vote is cast, but shall remain valid for all other candidates and issues voted on.

A ballot or that portion of a ballot shall be considered spoiled by the Board if it has any erasure or markings other than those authorized on the ballot .

SECTION 20. ABSENTEE BALLOTS No absentee ballots shall be sent, issued on cast by Tribal members who reside off the Reservation. However, within the confines of the Reservation, any eligible voter who is unavoidably unable to appear in person at a polling place on primary or general election day may cast their vote in the primary or general election by absentee ballot: provided, that (1) they have submitted a written request for such ballot no less than two (2) working days prior to the primary or general election day; and (2) their ballot is received by the Board in a sealed envelope, which envelope identifies it as an absentee ballot, and also contains the following: the name of the absentee voter; date of birth of absentee voter; enrollment number of the absentee voter; and district the absentee voter is from. Absentee ballots shall only be presented to persons who are qualified voters . Absentee ballots shall be issued to but not limited to students, military service, hospitalized or home bound voters .

SECTION 21. Precinct Judges and Tellers The judge and teller for each polling place shall be compensated at the rate of seventy-five dollars ($75.00) per day, but shall not be paid for more than three (3) days. Mileage at the current tribal rate shall be paid to Judges and Tellers, when so authorized by the entire Board.

SECTION 22. USE OF BUILDING A rate of fifty dollars ($50.00) per building per day will be paid for the use of non-tribal buildings as polling places during the primary and general election dates.

SECTION 23. RULES AND REGULATIONS The following shall be the rules and regulations that govern the members of the Board

1. Strict adherence to the provisions of this Ordinance;

2. No bias on any action taken;

3. No campaigning in any form whatsoever for any candidate for office;

4. All actions taken not covered by this Ordinance shall be approved by the Committee prior to action being taken;

5. Bribery is expressly condemned and shall be cause for immediate removal from office, in addition to prosecution under Section 65 of the Code of the Tribe; if it is found that a Board member was involved in a bribery situation;

6. Improper conduct by a Board member, e.g. drunkenness, gross misconduct, tardiness, shall be cause for removal from the Board; and

7. The Board's office shall be in an office assigned to it by the Tribe, and their regular office hours shall be from 8:00a.m. to 4:30p.m., Monday through Friday. However, the office hours on primary and general election days shall be from 7:00 a.m., until all the ballots and ballot boxes are delivered to the Board.

The Committee shall enforce any of the above rules and regulations; subject to final approval by the Council.

SECTION 24. AUTHORITY OF THE TREASURER The Treasurer of the Council is authorized and directed to expend such funds as may be necessary to carry out the terms of this Ordinance. The budget necessary to conduct the primary and general elections shall be approved by the Finance Committee and the Executive Committee .

SECTION 25. VACANCIES Should a vacancy occur by reason of death, disability, resignation, disqualification or removal from office of the President, the Vice President shall be sworn in as the President and assume the President's duties.

Should a vacancy occur by reason of death, disability, resignation, disqualification or removal from office of the Vice President, an election shall be conducted by the Board to elect a new Vice President.

Should a vacancy occur by reason of death, disability, resignation, disqualification or removal from office of any of the Council representatives, an election to fill such vacant position shall be conducted by the Board if the vacancy occurs during the first year of term, however, if the vacancy occurs during the second year of a term, that vacancy shall be filled by the Council with the person who received the next highest amount of votes for that district's representative.

Should a vacancy occur by reason of death, disability, resignation, disqualification or removal from office of the Secretary, Treasurer or Fifth Member positions, the Council shall have the authority to fill the positions in any manner they choose with a candidate that meets the qualifications of office as set forth in this Ordinance.

In any such election to fill vacancies the provisions of this Ordinance shall apply.

Any vacancy shall be so declared by the Council.

SECTION 26. RECOUNT ON CANDIDATE'S CHALLENGE - CERTIFICATION OF RESULTS. Whenever any candidate for tribal office has been defeated according to the official results by a margin which does not exceed two percent (2%) of the total vote cast for all candidates for such office, he may within three (3) days after the results have been made official, file a notarized challenge with the Board setting forth that he believes a recount will change the result of the election, and requesting that a recount be had of all the ballots cast for the Tribal Office in question, whereupon the Board shall conduct a recount as soon as possible. Once the recount is completed the Board shall certify the results of the recount. Any candidate who qualifies for a recount under this section, shall be entitled to only one recount of the ballots. At the opening and the recounting of any ballots under this section, both the challenger and the challengee, or their appointed representative may be present . In any election where a voter may vote for two (2) or more candidates for the same tribal office, the total vote cast for all candidates for such office shall be two (2) times the average number of votes cast for the candidates officially declared elected as shown by the official returns.

SECTION 27 . APPLICABILITY TO DISTRICT AND COMMUNITY ELECTIONS. The applicable sections of this Ordinance shall apply to all Districts and Community elections, that do not have duly adopted election Ordinances / Resolutions.

SECTION 28. PRIOR ORDINANCES Oglala Sioux Tribal Ordinance No. 93-20 is hereby repealed and rescinded, and any and all other ordinances and or sections or portions of other tribal Ordinances, which are inconsistent, or which conflict with this Ordinance are hereby expressly rescinded and repealed.

Hist: Ordinance 95-10.

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